1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

The Bitter End Pale Ale - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Bitter End Pale AleThe Bitter End Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

699 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 699
Reviews: 301
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 8
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
13.5 Plato and 30 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 699 | Reviews: 301 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwinship83
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%

12oz bottle with a best by date of 12/10/09 printed on the back. poured into, and drank out of, my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours an amber/copper colored body with a small eggshell colored head. the head lasts a while and leaves complete rings of lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- the smells coming out of my glass are very mild. caramel malt, citrus and pine. not much else.

T- strong caramel malts upfront. then comes a stronger dose of hops than i was expecting. lots of floral and pine hops here. a bit of grapefruit.

M- medium bodied and decently bitter. too much carbonation.

D- a good beer from my favorite next door brewery. something i dont drink as often as i should. i wish the two brothers got a little more love from the beer world.

jwinship83, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of caminiti
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%

Unfortunately, poured into a plastic cup in a hotel room, forgot to bring a glass on the road. An orange/copper color with a decent head, impressive in a plastic cup? bitter, nad a bit sweet, a pretty tasty beer. Not much of a nose, maybe it was a bit too cold. Easy to drink, carbonation of head did not carry over to the mouth, overall a pretty tasty beer, drinkable, would buy it again.

caminiti, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of Brenden
4.05/5  rDev +8%

The color is a pure clear copper. A white head pours at about two to three fingers and the thick foam sticks around the whole way, leaving small patches of sticky lacing.
The smell is pure, clean hops with a nice grapefruit and pine aroma. It's got a little citrus zest in it and a malty sweet backing under the hops.
The flavor is a very nice mix of raw hops (grapefruit and pine again coming through strongly), underlying malts, and zesty citrus. This one's very bright and herbal, woody notes adds the the multidimensionality. The finish is dry and lingers for a bit.
The mouthfeel is crisp and has a very nice smoothness to it as well. Body is light to medium with moderate carbonation.
This one's balanced, with a nice raw hops flavor, pure and clean. It's worth trying for yourself.

Brenden, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of tronester
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

On cask at the Maproom 7/9/2009

Served in an Imperial Pint glass, around 55 degrees F. Orange/brown in appearance, with a fluffy off-white head. Smells faintly of grain and british yeast. Taste is bready, toasted malt, nice earthy hops, but a hint of citrus as well in the finish. Super velvety mouthfeel. Nice low carbonation levels that tickle the tongue. Crazy drinkability, this is a fantastic beer on cask. Takes me back to England and its cask ales. HIGHLY recommended on cask.

tronester, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%

Nice thoughtful extra received from akokandy in a recent trade. Thanks, Adam!

Pours a deep orange-gold with a massive ivory head on top. Great retention, but no lacing whatsoever. Smells of minerals, malts, and biscuits. Good.

The mouth is very thin on this. Carbonation presence in the mouth is zilch. Disappointing. With that aside though, I love the flavor. Great balance of sweet malts and bitter hops. Bready and satisfying. I could drink a few of these for sure. They just need to tweak the mouthfeel a bit.

Onenote81, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of Tballz420
3/5  rDev -20%

Very clear amber colored body, small bubbly white head. Floral hops on top of a pale malt body scent. Good lace. Light pale malt taste backed by a nice floral hop backing. Fairly thin mouth.

Nothing really special here, but its not bad by any means. Pretty much a standard pale ale

Tballz420, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of JoshuaJ
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours a delicious looking, clean amber color. Moderate head that dissipated quickly, but left a nice cap the whole way down. Thick lacing.

Not too much on the nose. Earthy hops and sweet malts, mostly.

Ah, here's where it gets good. It's bitter to be sure, but I honestly think it's more balanced than a lot of BA's seem to think. The earthy, piney hops overshadow the caramelly malts at first, but as it warms, the flavors from the malt become much more apparent. I would agree that it ventures further into IPA territory that many other APA's, but hey, that's a style choice.

The mouthfeel is good. The carbonation is where it should be for a beer like this, meaning that the bubbles are small, which helps with surface area on the tongue. A medium bodied beer for sure, and one that goes down very smoothly.

Drinkability is high. I would happily stick with this beer all night.

JoshuaJ, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of WYVYRN527
3.15/5  rDev -16%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, The Bitter End pours a rich amber color with a cramy white head that rapidly dissapates. On the nose is piney, citrusy hops with little malt showing through. The taste to me seems somewhat unbalanced. American pale ales are supposed to be hoppy, but this one was borderline IPA. Hops seem to dominate the palate, with flavors of pine and grapefruit, while there is little malt backbone. Mouthfeel is sharp and dry. While it is drinkable, There are many other pales I would choose before this one.

WYVYRN527, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of cdkrenz
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%

A - Clear brownish red with about a 1/2 inch of white head. This brew a decent lacing too.

S - Nice hoppy aroma with a sweet, slightly pungent citrus scent.

T - Soft bitter flavor that offers a robust middle.

M - The feel is comfortable and begs to be consumed.

~ I really like this pale ale. I wish my wife had been able to bring back a few more from her recent trip to the Chicago area. I haven't seen this brew in the Central Wisconsin area. Maybe I can pick up a six pack next week on?

cdkrenz, May 21, 2009
Photo of youngblood
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a golden and copper with a white head. Smells pretty nice. A bit of subdued malt sweetness and some nice pine coming through. Nothing spetacular, but smells decent. As far as taste goes, there's a nice bed of caramel sweetness with some hop bitterness (mostly dry pine) laying lazily over it. Again, not spectacular, but has a nice easy flavor. The mouthfeel is nice. Very light, while still have some substance. Leaves the mouth satisfied. High drinkability. Great session beer.

youngblood, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of mikereaser
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%

A - pours a murky, nut brown color with 1/4 inch of foam that left a bit of lacing

S - not much of an aroma, slight notes of citrus and pine and some malts

T - starts with a biscuity malt flavor and then the grassy & citrus hops pull through

M/D - medium bodied with a nice hop bite, pretty good beer

mikereaser, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of Brew33
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%

I picked up a single of this not knowing what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised. This beer is excellent. Great aroma, wonderful flavor. Balanced with a slightly bitter finish. Bright, crisp. Wow. I'm thoroughly impressed here. The mouthfeel was a lacking but I just may start picking these up as a session beer. Really good, easy drinking APA.

Brew33, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%

12oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Clear, slightly hazy (we'll see whether or not that clears up when the beer warms, it remains hazy) copper and golden amber, topped with a loosely packed, sandy white, half an inch head that fades into some lattice work lacing and a sort of spotty cap of a head. No lacing to speak of apart from a few specks here and there.

S: Fruity, slightly mango mixed with that ever elusive "citrus" charter that is nearly impossible for me to assign to a particular fruit, mixed with a mildly piney, mildly biscuity sweetness that I am having a very difficult time trying to find fault with. I suppose it does not have that traditional English Bitter aroma and leans more to the American Pale Ale side, but there is enough malt character built up here to make it stand just slightly apart from such a distinction.

T/MF: Opens quickly on the bitter side than just as quickly is joined in and barely overpowered, or perhaps more correctly, plays a bit downstage from the sweeter, maltier aspects this beer has to offer. The bitterness lingers on the sides of the tongue long after the beer has departed and makes you believe that this beer is more bitter than it actually is. This beer plays quite nicely against itself, a well struck balance between sweet and bitter yet this is where it ends, there is little complexity after the honey caramel sweetness and that hoppy "citrus"/earthiness that play well with each other but leave me wanting a bit more.

D: An easier drinking and almost sessionable, I wish it would weigh in just a bit lower in the ABV department because this might have a constant home in my fridge if such a thing were to happen. Worth a shot, a very well put together beer from the folks in Warrenville.

bluemoonswoon, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of beermanbrian
3.45/5  rDev -8%

Nice copper color with a thin whispy white head. Spotty lacing. Smell of earthy hops and biscuity malt. Taste is also on the malty biscuit side of things. Faint bitterness in the finish that drifts into earthyness. Full malty flavor but somehow manages to be watery. Not enough substance to get excited about this one.

beermanbrian, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of giblet
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%

this was a nice surprise. poured nice into the glass. smooth creamy head of an inch. smelled nice of faint hops. this is not as dry and bitter as i expected - i am a hop head. but it was a nice tasting and refreshing beer to drink. pail in color and nice steady carbonatin with good lace down the glass. nice dry finish. good enough to have two in a row.

suckem up and movem out!


giblet, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of confer
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

Purchased this beer in a variety case.
It pours a dark gold with a a very minor head that dissapated quickly.
The smell gave away the flavor. You can smell very strong sweet hops.
The flavor again was very hoppy. It is that tangy sweet hoppy taste that I think has become the favorite of a lot of hopheads, but not overpowering. The flavor mellows as the beer warms and becomes tastier.
Felt heavily carbonated and dry.
This one is not really for me.

After another tasting this beer is much better than I previously stated. this is the current review.

confer, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of ROBORB
3.6/5  rDev -4%

Bottle thanks to Mike B., thanks man!

Poured into a regular pint glass this beer produced an orange hue with a light, quickly dissipating white head. There was a nice aroma of pine, hops, and grapefruit. The carbonation was just right for a pale ale. This was a very drinkable pale ale and I would like to try it again sometime.

ROBORB, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of Jayli
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%

This beer pours a nice light copper color with about a one finger of white rocky head (was a vigorous pour). Decent head retention with minimal lacing to it. Nose is of citrusy and floral hops - floral hops come through more so. Taste is full of citrus and floral hops blended with a malt backbone. Definitely lighter bodied beer, crisp and refreshing on the tongue with no bitter aftertaste. Overall, this would definitely be a nice session beer.

Jayli, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of Florida9
2.93/5  rDev -21.9%

Drank this at 2 Brothers tap house. This was my second beer. First was the Heavy Handed which was, by far, the superior beer.

Served in a pint glass. Arrived with a thin layer of head. No lacing.

Color is bronze-golden and clear.

Virtually no aroma as far as I could tell, though I will admit the taphouse itself has a distinctive bacony aroma to it, which was not by any means unpleasant.

After the Heavy Handed, this beer tasted weak. A little bit of malt and then finishing with a good dose of bitterness. However, aside from the bitterness, there was a distinct lack of hop flavor for an PA.

Overall, a thin-ish, everyday, average pale ale. Not offensive, but lacking character of it's own. Couldn't see drinking it if there were better beers available. I must confess, I believe drinking the Heavy Handed first ruined me on this beer and I would like to give it another chance.

Florida9, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of kbnooshay
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

Poured a hazy orange golden color with a very small off white head. Aroma is of strong citric and floral hops. There is a nice doughiness to the nose. Taste is similar. Very doughy and grassy with a good amount of hop bitterness. There is a little malt flavor to balance this. Feel is kinda on the thin side but slick and slightly creamy. To me this is super drinkable and balanced. I could drink a 6 pack of this in no time. The hop bitterness isn't necessarily potent but it is very full.

kbnooshay, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of drunkmonk
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Growler recieved as an extra, from DavidEddie. A surprise growler as an extra, unbelevable. You the man Dave.

Crystal clear copper, nice thick off white lacing with a huge sheets of cling lasting all the way down. Aroma's of toffee, caramel, and light orange rind. Flavors are all much the same, with a lemon drop sweetness mid way through. Tobacco, herbal, leafy, tea like hops, and a kiss of tangerine finish things off. Bitterness is there but understated. This goes down effortlessly and begs for the next pint, and the next.

While I love to have my tongue blasted with hops just as much as the next hop head, it's great to have a nice easy drinking session pale ale. A great example of an English pale.

Has a blast draining this growler, and I still feel semi balenced.

Thanks again Brau

drunkmonk, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Bottle, best by 12/19/08. Pours a clear orange with a thick white head. Aroma of caramel malt, sweet floral hops, and a slight hint of fresh oranges in the finish. Flavor of sweet malt, orange zest, grassy hops, mint leaves. Nice pale ale with a citrus kick. A solid beer.
Aroma: 8/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 15/20

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of albern
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%

In addition to a really nice taste and mouthfeel, high marks to the brewery for having a clear expiration date, ABV, Plato, and IBU labeling. That is rare indeed, and more breweries ought to follow suit. The beer pours a nice amber color with a white soapy head, with lacing and retention. The nose is earthy grains, florals, and some nice hop presence. This is a bready inviting beer. The taste follows suit. There is a touch of lemony tartness that complements the bready malts, and the hop bitterness is just right. There is a slightly buttery, sunflowery ginger like taste to the beer, that adds character and makes it an interesting and fairly complex beer. There are enough flavors cascading on the palate to keep it interesting. The finish gets a bit tart, maybe a tad too drying and tart. This is a nice find.

albern, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours a clear copper color with a smallish white head that settled into a sparse cap. The aroma is of a grassy hop and sweet pale malt. The taste is more of a spicy/bitter/lemony hop with a sweet biscuity malt, perhaps a touch buttery. The Bitter End has a nice full feel, chewy, with mild to prickly carbonation, finishes with a slight dry bitterness. A nice simple bitter ale. Good balance between the malt and spicy hops

Gmann, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of williamherbert
4.05/5  rDev +8%

Halfway between red and orange. Clear and a flat look. One finger of white head. Steady as she goes.

Strong estery and citrusy hop aroma, just this side of an IPA. Astringent alcohol aroma. Sweet bready pale malt at the second sniff. Bursting with aromas.

The malt comes through in a nice, slightly bitter way. Caramel and a hint of mocha in the malt. Very bitter on two fronts. Quite dark for a pale. Roasted and sharp both.

Creamy with a medium to heavy body. Remains bitterly on the tongue. Bitter in hops and malt both. Lives up to its name. A nice, happily bitter beer.

williamherbert, Nov 21, 2008
The Bitter End Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 699 ratings.